Looking for hotels in New York City can be overwhelming. With so many bustling neighborhoods, instagrammable bars and restaurants, and massive skyscrapers, visitors to New York want to make sure they’re centrally located so they don’t miss a beat. We’ve got you covered! We put together a list of the best hotels in New York City that you should book for a visit in 2020, starting with the heart of the city: Manhattan.
There’s one thing visitors to New York City need to remember: while NYC is massive, just about anything you want to see is easily accessible via the 24-hour subway or Citi Bike. Our list of best hotels in New York City features accommodations that are within 2-3 minutes walk of MTA subway stations. Of course, if you want to do things the real New York way, you can simply walk to where you need to be. Just keep up the pace!
Best hotels in Manhattan
Manhattan is what New Yorkers call "the City," and what many visitors think is 42nd Street to 45th Street on 7th Avenue (that's a Times Square joke). Manhattan’s many neighborhoods are as diverse as they come and we couldn’t possibly cover all of them. Nonetheless, here are our absolute favorites.
Walker Hotel (Greenwich Village)
The Walker Hotel is located in one of New York City’s most famous neighborhoods, the former Bohemian Mecca that is Greenwich Village. This boutique hotel is gorgeous inside-out. You will quickly notice the Art Deco details in the lobby and its 113 luxury rooms, tactfully bridging the classic look with modern amenities. All rooms are equipped with high-speed internet and adorned with Makassar Ebony furniture. A unique treat for guests are the custom spa bath amenities, provided by the oldest apothecary in Greenwich Village, C.O. Bigelow. It's not cheap, if you're interested and traveling cheaper consider reading this.
The Walker Hotel is a brisk 5-minute walk to Union Square Park, shopping, and MTA subway trains. Greenwich Village institutions like the Comedy Cellar and Blue Note Jazz Club are a 10 minute walk from the hotel.
Freehand Hotel New York (NoMad)
Don’t be mad, we cheated just a little bit. Though the Freehand Hotel isn’t quite in NoMad, it’s definitely NoMad adjacent. Some place this hotel in the Flatiron District, but whatever you call this neighborhood, the Freehand New York is a 4-star bargain! The rooms were designed by New York architects Roman & Williams, and feature one-of-a-kind artwork from students and alumni of Bard College. The defining feature of the Freehand Hotel is it’s rooftop tiki bar, Broken Shaker, which has gorgeous views of Midtown Manhattan.
The Freehand Hotel New York has numerous sites within 10-15 minutes walking distance including the famous Flatiron Building, the Empire State Building, Koreatown, and the flagship Macy’s Department Store in Herald Square.
The Maritime Hotel (Chelsea)
It’s unfair to call Chelsea an “up and coming” neighborhood, since the area is rich in New York history. However, efforts have been made in recent years to spruce the place up; not exactly gentrification, but definitely a bit of a facelift. The Highline, Whitney Museum of American Art, Chelsea Piers, and the Meatpacking District all call Chelsea home in addition to some excellent new restaurants and bars, plus boutique clothing stores back-to-back.
The Maritime Hotel has some of the most unique accommodations in New York City. You may have guessed by its name that the Maritime has a nautical theme, but the hotel is far from kitschy. It’s signature design detail is its distinctive circular porthole shaped windows and upholstered chairs with a colorful map of New York City. You will certainly find icons of anchors and lacquered wood paneling interiors which, fortunately, make you feel like you’re on a luxury yacht instead of the middle of Manhattan.
The Iroquois Hotel (Midtown / Times Square)
Though we wouldn’t recommend staying directly in Times Square (everything is overpriced!), if you absolutely insist on being close by, you should consider the Iroquois Hotel. Situated perfectly between the hustle of Times Square and the bustle of Fifth Avenue, the hotel will be quick to point out the famous guests who have stayed there. Hollywood heartthrob James Dean was a guest. So was the British band The Clash who penned ‘Rock the Casbah’ while staying here.
But that’s not what draws us to the Iroquios. The magic of the hotel is in its elegant rooms and the historic neighborhood in which it stands. The bathrooms at the Iroquois Hotel are decorated with intricate mosaic floors (a staple of buildings on 44th Street) and white marble vanity. The rooms are small, though not by New York standards, but the bedsheets are heavenly. Best of all, you will be within 5 minutes walking distance of Bryant Park, the New York Public Library’s most famous location (remember Ghostbusters?), and shopping at Times Square or Fifth Avenue. A perfect hub from which to explore the rest of NYC, the 42nd Street / Times Square MTA subway station has nearly a dozen train lines passing through.
It should also be said that the street on which the Iroquois Hotel stands is historic in its own right. Home to the Harvard Club, Penn Club, and storied New York City Bar Association buildings, as well as the former Hippodrome, you will feel the grandeur of New York’s history as soon as you enter any of 44th Street’s lobbies.
Arthouse Hotel (Upper West Side)
Further uptown from the dense pedestrian traffic, the Arthouse Hotel on New York’s Upper West Side is not exactly secluded, but certainly an oasis. For a New York City hotel, the rooms are very spacious and bright. It might have something to do with the lack of super tall structures outside of the windows (those are further south). Visitors staying on the higher floors might get a room with a terrace; perfect for a morning coffee overlooking the Upper West Side and Central Park. Those on the lower floors might not see over the tops of neighboring buildings, but there is a certain charm to New York’s lower-floor views for the coziness of the density and, of course, people watching.
Even New York’s residential areas have something to see and the Upper West Side does not disappoint. Visitors to the Arthouse Hotel will find themselves within walking distance of the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park. There are also plenty of restaurants serving delectable meals and, most importantly, brunch (we recommend Sarabeth’s)! If you have a sweet tooth, the neighborhood is renowned for Levain’s Bakery, where their massive cookie mounds are sure to put you into a sugar coma.
If shopping is what you crave, Bloomingdale’s Outlet is a few blocks south of the hotel. And with MTA subway trains easily accessible to guests of the Arthouse Hotel, you will find yourself in Soho in 20 minutes flat.
Park Lane Hotel (Central Park)
This hotel is a bit of a splurge, but you will not find a better view of or be in proximity to Central Park without staying at the Plaza Hotel (an even greater splurge). The Park Lane Hotel is located directly at Central Park. And we mean directly, since all you need to do is cross the street to get to it. The hotel offers breathtaking views of the expansive park and neighboring areas. If you are itching to visit New York City’s best museums, the Park Lane Hotel is your ideal accommodation. MoMA is only a few blocks south, and both the MET and American Museum of Natural History are within two subway stops.
Of course, you will do well to walk the length of Central Park, especially in the spring and summer months, and enjoy a picnic on the Great Lawn or Sheep Meadow.
Shopping along Fifth Avenue is close by, with luxury retailers like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace and Cartier just minutes away. But so is New York City’s flagship Uniqlo location which is four levels of Japanese minimalist fashion and maximalist print t-shirts. Columbus Circle and the MTA subway are mear blocks away giving visitors easy access to the rest of Manhattan and New York City’s outer boroughs.
Best hotels in New York City’s outer boroughs
Some visitors to New York City might be surprised to learn that there is bustling life outside of Manhattan. In fact, New York City has four outer boroughs (in alphabetical order: Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens), in addition to Manhattan, with their own unique places to visit and wonderful places to stay. Below are our favorite hotels in New York City’s outer boroughs.
The Hoxton, Williamsburg (Brooklyn)
Home of Notorious BIG, Coney Island, and a million other things that would take an eternity to list, there's no place in the world like Brooklyn. The Hoxton Hotel is part of a global chain of boutique hotels founded in London. When you enter the lobby, you will quickly realize that this is a place that minds the details. Just about everything at the Hoxton Williamsburg is bespoke: the bed sheets designed by Brooklyn artist Dusen Dusen, the dark wood and gold furniture, the tasteful tchotchkes on the shelves, and we haven’t even mentioned the floor-to-ceiling windows (a rare find in New York).
Breakfast is done differently at the Hoxton. Each room has a small paper bag in which you can check a few boxes for your continental breakfast selection (yoghurt, banana, juice). Place it on the outside of your room’s door and the food will appear like magic in the morning. Or, you can choose to eat at the hotel restaurant (or in your bed) from a more extensive breakfast menu.
The neighborhood is a great choice for young travelers interested in good vibes. Dine al fresco at any of Williamsburg’s restaurants, support artisans at a local shop, or visit the much admired Brooklyn Brewery for a tour and a lager. Brooklyn’s other neighborhoods are easily accessible on the MTA subway. From here, you can make your way to downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Coney Island, or head back to Manhattan in minutes. Just plan ahead for train delays.
New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge (Brooklyn)
The name is a mouthful, but the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge is a perfect choice for business travelers and Marriott Bonvoy members. This hotel has all of the familiar amenities of Marriott chains that you know and love, but it’s the location that makes it a great place to stay. The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge (there’s that long name again) is located in downtown Brooklyn, between Barclay’s Center (home of the Nets) and the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn.
DUMBO, for those who don’t know, stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass. It’s the area of Brooklyn between the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge famous for that one Instagram photo. The neighborhood’s cobblestone streets, award winning restaurants, and long lines for delicious pizza are a massive draw to locals, tourists, and celebrities. The hotel is near several MTA subway stations with trains which will take you further into Brooklyn or within 2-3 stops of Manhattan. But we know you’ll probably be spending a few days in the area anyway.
W Hotel Hoboken
Ok, so Hoboken isn’t really a borough of New York, but don't discount New Jersey as a great hub from which to explore NYC. Travel time from across the river is 20-30 minutes on the PATH train from your hotel to midtown Manhattan. Plus, you’ll get spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, which is something you just won’t see from within the city.
If you’ve ever stayed at a W Hotel, you know that you’re in for a luxurious stay. The W Hoboken cares about the details. You may even find a special treat in your room after housekeeping makes their daily rounds. The hotel is 5-minutes walk from the PATH trail to New York City making it closer to attractions like the Empire State Building (25 minutes) than other hotels in the city. The W Hotel Hoboken offers incredible views of the Manhattan skyline, especially at night, and it’s Halifax restaurant has some of the most delectable food this side of the Hudson River.